Monday, February 25, 2013

Bedfords delight Dubbo

I hadn't been to Dubbo for four years so a return trip for Golden Oldies 2012 was well overdue.  This was a great show with plenty of quality trucks on display and a lot of people I hadn't seen for quite a while.  My feet were gone by the end of the Friday afternoon (when we arrived) due to standing around chinwagging!

There weren't a lot of big British trucks and the Bedford numbers were low.  However, what they lacked in numbers they certainly made up for in quality.  Enjoy!

Above: smallest end of the scale first.  This is Jim Morton's Gundagai-based J3 (?).  It is an absolutely stunning truck and a real credit to the owner.
Below: this TK gets around a fair bit.  I've photographed her at the Forbes Show.  Forbes is a good 200 km south of Dubbo and has featured in BTW posts before.  Not a great distance to travel in Australia but a good effort for anything more than 30 years old!

Below: the wheelbase on this TK impressed me as did her tidy condition.  If anyone knows the truck, please let me know as I would love to speak with the owner.

Below: the piece de resistance of the show for me was this KM.  I had not seen her before but I have since learnt she hails from Young - again a town about 200 kms south of Dubbo.  She arrived towing a bogie-axle trailer with a Chamberlain tractor as ballast.  I have an arrival photo of this combination so watch this space for its addition.  In the meantime, bask in the glory that is the KM!  Magnificent.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

TK-ing it - the 1968 Bedford sees the light of day

Probably the best look I've had of our TK for the best part of more than three years.  We rolled her and the 1949 ML out of their shed for a bit of a shuffle.  Both have exchanged places - as detailed in an earlier post - and have been turned around.  The TK rolled so nicely it was a dream to drag and push her around.  I hadn't been in the cab for a while but was pleased to be reminded of just how good she is inside.  Really, all I need to do is re-upholster the driver's seat and get a new floor mat and she is good to go internally (not counting a bit of a wash).

Externally, she still has her challenges with a steering linkage having a stripped thread and the brakes and king pins needing a complete re-do.  I suspect the brakes will be the biggest, and most expensive, job.

I'm probably repeating myself a bit here so will sign off on this post.  We did try starting her, and while her electrics appear sound (headlights, high beam, tail lights, indicators, dash and internal lights all worked), suspected stale fuel prevented a start.  Well, it'd have to have lost its octane.  Another high point was discovering I don't need two new steer tyres!

Slowly, slowly...

Monday, January 14, 2013

An update on the update

Happy new year everyone.  I thought I might as well get a post up on BTW now so that when I get to the next entry the site will have already added more content than 2012!

I hope this finds you all well and enjoying a fine start to 2013.  I know myself and my family are so I trust you and yours are too.

Since this is an update post, here's a little bit on our '68 EFN TK.  The shed shuffle and work I mentioned below did not happen but it is now planned to occur in a couple of weeks.  All we're doing is moving the '49 ML out so the TK can also be removed from the shed.  The ML will take up the TK's current spot and the TK will inhabit the old ML parking space.  This will provide a lot more room to work on the TK's Holden 308 V8 motor before the cracked exhaust manifold is finally removed, along with its sister, and replaced with extractors.  That will probably be the limit of the work in the next month or so.  There's lots of little jobs to do like replacing pins and bushings and grease nipples but the more expensive stuff (driver's seat upholstery, servicing the entire brake system, steering wheel restoration, two new steers, four retreads and new wood for the tray) will be chipped away at this year with a very tentative aim of getting her to pass her roadworthy by the end of 2013.  I'm not in a rush but she needs to get out and about to get the juices flowing (mine and hers!). 

Really looking forward to sitting in that comfortable driver's position with that wonderful view of the road that only a TK can provide.  Let's make sure we really do see them everywhere!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Still here!

Hi everyone

Apologies for not updating Bedford Trucks Worldwide for a long time. I am just too busy at work and home to get much done to be honest and my own truck projects have slowed down (if they could get any slower!).

I have a few Beddy photos to put up from the Dubbo 2012 truck show including a rather lovely KM that hails from Young, New South Wales. I hadn't seen her before but she was magical. Beddies put on a good showing at the show with the KM perhaps being the biggest English truck there which was a bit of a shame for the Albion, Leyland. AEC etc fans (like me). Still, it was a great show and it was awesome to catch up with a lot of people I hadn't seen for a few years.

Pleasing news on the Bedford front in Australia is that the restorations are coming thick and fast with a lot of KMOs and the smaller TJs getting some attention. I had a bit of a flurry on our EFN TK back in early March but this ground to a halt with the arrival of our daughter. I am hoping to move her around in the shed later this month so we can get some exhaust work done and give the Holden 308 (a common engine application in Australia for the TK) a decent service. This 'front-end' work might lead to doing the king pins and the like but we'll see. That said, the main focus is the '73 LAD Albion Reiver as I try to get it ready for Haulin' The Hume 2013. Watch this space ... but, as ever, don't hold your breath!

Very much keen to hear from other Beddy enthusiasts as we need to build an online resource for the make. Please drop me a line at (replacing the AT with @). If you have contacted me in the past and received no reply, please try again!



Monday, September 26, 2011

Bedfords haulin the Hume

August 27 was the date for what was perhaps the biggest truck-based road run ever seen in Australia to date. More than 140 vehicles ran the old portions of the Hume highway from just outside Sydney, over 'Razorback', through the 'hole in the wall' and on to Yass.

The superlatives have all been used by everyone who was there and those who have seen the photos online so I won't go on about it too much. However, every superlative used doesn't come close to the camaraderie and good times that were had.

The next run is scheduled for 2013 and interest in attending has already been received by the organisers. My one disappointment was that there were no big British trucks - the Leylands, AECs etc - on the run. That will change for the next one. This year, however, the Bedfords carried the flag!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

50 years of Bedford advertising

Decades after the last truck to wear the Bedford name rolled off the production line not only do we still see them working on farms, and even on the streets adding some class to a modern world, but they still appear in ads on TV and in print. It seems companies that like to promote their product as 'natural' and 'farm-grown' lean towards a Bedford as the truck of choice. No argument here.

So, here we have an a trade ad from 1961 promoting the sense in buying Bedford and, as a small indication of the popularity and continuing appeal of the make, a current ad featuring a J1. Whether it's 1961 or 2011, you really do see them everywhere.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A new lease of life for this J2

Several months ago, an advertisement appeared on the HCVC of Australia’s forum for a 1961 J2. In good condition, as affirmed by the photos included with the details, the truck was said to be complete and running although on that latter point she wasn’t perfect. Last licensed in May 2010, here was the perfect opportunity for a good Bedford to find a home.
Enter Jeff Smith. Jeff lives near where the truck was laid up – Dandenong South, a south-eastern suburb of Melbourne – and it was love at first sight. Bought on his 21st wedding anniversary, Jeff’s new truck was about to be put to work doing what she does best. First, though, she required a bit of work herself.

Finding himself bitten by the love bug, Jeff didn’t waste any time getting back down to the Beddy and firing her up. As the ad had said, she ran a bit rough but after a “muck about with the timing”, there was some improvement. A further visit was very productive with the Beddy receiving a new set of plugs, fuel drained from her carburetor and filter bowl and 20 litres of premium fuel in her tank. Quite the birthday but, really, don’t all Bedfords deserve that sort of treatment?

Jeff also reset the points gap and set the timing right. The result? “Running like a Swiss watch”! The brakes have also been sorted so she now pulls up straight.
While Beddies in general are pretty intoxicating, this little J2 has proven even more so for Jeff as he realised it is the same model as the truck he first ‘drove’ at the age of eight when carting hay!
As you can see from the photos, the body was cut down once there were no takers for it complete. This was done after Jeff got the truck home. The Bedford has also found a fan in Jeff’s son.

“Watching him drive it, I’m not sure who had the biggest grin on their mug, me or him!”, said Jeff.

“He did alright too, although the re-entry into the farm was a bit quick but he kept it shiny side up!” The drive home was not without its drama either with a small electrical fire under the dash proving a challenge as Jeff was “singing” along at 40mph.

Another challenge faced the Beddy at her new home with enough hay cut to make 1,000 small square bales. It could be argued the J2’s power proved too much for Jeff’s father-in-law as he kept launching bales over Jeff’s head and back into the paddock but it was simply because he hadn’t used a bale elevator before – second gear and 1500 rpm is a bit too much! Having said that, the Beddy did get a load of 60 bales in 10 minutes!

Above: first load for the J2. Note the bale under the front axle - a product of Jeff's father-in-law launching bales off the elevator!

Despite being a joy to operate, the J2 still has some issues to overcome. Jeff discovered the float wire pivot mounted upside-down which was causing flooding at idle and “pops and farts” under load besides over-fueling/plug fouling. Jeff’s last words about the J2 before I wrote this story were “we got 600 bales in yesterday before the rain beat us.”

Above: a few loads in the shed and the J2 is ready for more.
Can’t keep a good Beddy down.Thanks to Jeff for the details and photos. If you know of any working Bedfords (or any Bedford!) and reckon they are worth a story, please let me know.

Above and below: Oh yes, Jeff found the original delivery slip in the glove box! The original owner a Mr TA Seiffert of Leopold, Victoria (just SSE of Geelong). The truck's serial number is J2LC2/96658/M. Can't quite make out the dealer - it looks like Esler & Belton Motors of Geelong.